Living with hearing loss


Talking about my hearing loss is probably one of my least favourite topics to discuss and anyone else who has a hearing loss probably feels the same way but I feel it is time to help others understand what it is like to be me. It was grade 3 when I was diagnosed with a 25% mild bilateral hearing loss,... that explained why I was getting failing marks in school and probably some lack in social development. That is like missing one out of every four words and that makes for some twisted sentences! Lol I do remember speech therapy with a Mr Fox- it was usually cue cards and fun games....I also didnt mind all the hearing tests and I got to miss school :)
I started having to wear around the ear hearing aids for grade 4, I was mortified to say the least. When you are the only kid in your school with a hearing loss and at a new school too- it sucks. I envied other kids, running around the playground and screaming with reckless abandon, completely oblivious to what they had.
I hated my hearing aids so much I believe I purposely sabotaged a couple pairs (aka sticking them in front of the school bus wheels just before hopping on). I didn't like how they felt or how they made my ears stick out. I used to go to the "hear together" conferences in London every year and I really felt out of place because most kids there had much worse hearing losses then I did and they all talked like they had a bunch of teeth all over the roof of their mouth. I didn't connect well with anyone (far as I remember) because I just felt like I could hear just fine. I always had a difficult time just accepting it, it took years before I began to advocate for my needs on my own. I call a mild hearing loss an invisible disability because people don't see it when they look at me even if they've been told, they often forget. I am sure some think I am rude or pushy because I often interrupt conversations but it is just because I don't hear that someone else is talking... I try to read body language and lips but that isn't always successful. I keep a closer reign on my children then most parents probably do but think about what the first sense that we use to gage whether our kids are in trouble? HEARING... so because I can't always hear, and that can be worse depending on the environment, I keep my kids close. I have a much harder time hearing someone who is soft spoken, in fact I pretty much can't hear them at all if I am not aware they are speaking to me. Same with someone who speaks with little voice inflection. Yelling at me is unnecessary, usually I need people to speak with more clarity then anything, or go to a quieter area. My biggest pet peeve has to be when people accuse me of not listening to them- HELLO?!!! and no I don't have selective hearing (well mostly bhahaaha) but seriously- that joke is old. The biggest word of advice for people when they would like to speak to me, is make sure you have my attention and that means I am looking at you :-) The picture above shows how far technology has come and the kind of aid I want to buy next... they run thousands of dollars!

Sunday, July 31, 2011 at 8:20 PM , 1 Comment

reflection


I enjoyed a really sweet, sweet time with my Vince yesterday in Port Stanley. We desperately needed uninterrupted, one on one time with each other and with no expectations to be some where by a certain time :-) If you haven't had a time like this with your other half in a long time, I highly recommend it. We soaked up the sun, collected beach glass/stones for the kids, hiked, swam (the water was icy cold water btw!), and not only that but we were able to have uninterrupted conversation- say WHAT!?- a very rare occurence with 3 young kids vying for our time and attention. We talked about how things have changed (always inevitable) but not all change is good, some has affected our lives negatively and it is healthy to talk those things through so that we can move on and focus on all the positive and wonderful things that have happened in our lives. We shared lots about where we are headed with our family- dreams, priorities, goals and plans for our future. Most of all we had lots of fun!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 7:19 AM , 1 Comment

He loves me inspite of....


I am possibly the WORST choice for a housewife, and thankfully Vince married me anyways with that knowledge :-P ( I believe Vince was warned by multiple members of my family about my slobbishness) I'll find ANYTHING to distract me from cleaning and cooking. Organization is probably my biggest weakness or could it be that procrastinating is my biggest strength?! Whatever the case, I know these are things that drive my husband bonkers!! It's a good thing I am a hotshot wife and mother to make up for it :-) It isn't that I sit on my arse all day.... I am actively involved with my kids school, homework, reading, extracurriculars, healthy nutrition/grocery shopping etc.. plus I don't mind mowing the lawn or running errands but I'll have to agree that I lack greatly in time management skills. I am blessed to have an amazing husband who loves me inspite of my inadequacies and yet I am not a fool I know he desires and prays for me to become more domesticated since I am the stay at home parent. I do believe I am S L O W L Y improving on this front, especially because my desire for healthy eating is inspiring me to cook more often- one word= EPICURE... seriously makes it eAsy baby! Vince cannot comprehend how I can function in the midst of chaos but I'll let ya all on a little secret.... I LOVE when the house is organized, clean and smelling fresh *GASP!*... it is just an area that I see the need to improve in (everyone has shortcomings) and anyone who says they prefer chaos is probably lying :-p
Cheers to my Vince for his grace and patience for me!

Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 5:04 PM , 0 Comments

She is like a tenacious bulldog


Do you freely give trust or does it have to be earned?
When it comes to entrusting (to give over to another for care, protection) my children, trust absolutely has to be earned. My children are the most important people in the world to me (including my Vince :). Trusting another person with my children takes consistent, quality time to get to a place where that deep trust is formed. I will be the first to admit that I am overprotective alot of the time, but I would rather ehrr on the side of caution. I personally know too many people, cousins, friends and relatives who have been either physically or sexually abused as children and most by close friends or family. It might not even be that I am concerned about abuse, it may simply be I just don't know someone enough to give them that level of trust. It might be that my gut instincts keep my from ever trusting someone- and I have learned to ALWAYS trust those instincts (not to be confused with fear). I have been described as mother bear or a tenacious bulldog and I agree that they are pretty bang on! I will say this; I come with different history, different experiences, different perception of life, different family etc. that have brought me to this place where I am so highly protective and I won't be manipulated or forced into trusting someone where that trust isn't present. Some people are able to freely give trust and I say good for them :-)
Part of my calling as a parent is to protect these little blessings as I see fit and the level of protection will depend on age, temperment, maturity, environment, etc. K is 9 years old and I have only just started to allow her to walk to school with a friend a couple times per week. I have neighbours who allow their girls 7 and 6 years old to walk to school regularily and I find that waayyyy to young- the walk to school here takes about 20 minutes. I have 4 year old and 6 year old active and curious boys and I believe they still require constant supervision when they are outdoors. Kayla is at an age and maturity level where I trust her to go over to a friends house for a playdate, I don't have to worry so much about her and that is freeing but I don't let her go into a friends home where I haven't gotten to know the parents. The bigger issue for Vince and I are sleepovers and those will be a rare occurence in the lives of our children outside of trusted family members and close friends. Around water is another story, I go into this mode of almost panic,... a totally ridiculous fear, I know but it is defintely there and I am trying to learn how to relax more.... the funny thing is, is that I am an incredibly strong swimmer and if my boys fell in, I'd be in the pool faster then they'd hit the water! Definetely falls in the realm of irrational fears lol... however it is very real and came upon me sometime after I became a mother.

In a perfect world trust would be freely given but just look at the local and world news and you see that it is far from perfect. So I do believe that I need to be tenacious with protecting my children and it is something I won't apologize for.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 7:30 AM , 0 Comments

Ignorance is not always bliss


Bringing up boys is definetely an adventure and if you've had the privilege and challenge of raising boys, you'll be able to understand alot of what I say in this post. Over the last few years, and especially the last few months my eyes of really been opened to the amount of ignorance and judgement floating around out there in relation to the world of boys. I have 2 boys and they are 4 and 6 years old. They are bundles of energy and can often be found lapping the main floor of my house. They can be found jumping on my furniture seconds after they have been told to get off. The wrestle and physically fight from a young age. Fifteen minutes after they eat a large supper they are asking for more food... as if they haven't eaten a single morsel all day. I call them machines somedays. I have to physically touch them to get their attention and to ensure they are listening to me. They have an extremely hard time sitting still and maintaining eye contact when being talked to. They are loud and sound effects are common to our ears around here while my boys play..... Sound like anyone you know?... the greatest challenge may be just keeping them alive through childhood and adolescence. I say all this to say that all I have talked about are natural tendencies for boys and certainly not related to being undisciplined or unruly. Boys are designed to be more assertive, audacious and excitable than girls are. Now I'd like to talk about my son M. He is a strong willed boy and yet extremely well disciplined. He was taught about manners and respect and about using his hands to help not to hurt. He has been taught not to use potty humour. He has been taught to share and help others... etc. etc. do you understand what I am getting at? And yet we have been exhausted over the last couple years with behavioural issues and social situations. Alot of all this is normal in the world of boys and yet over the last 6 months we have sensed something more was at play. Actually we have sensed something was off for a couple years with his behaviour. Over time consistent teaching and discipline should start to correct behaviours but with M things were getting worse,specifically at school in the morning. Lots of phone calls from the principals office. Well to make a long story short, we finally got into see a pediatrician. And to our surprise, he suggested Malachi may be struggling with a mild form of autism (lots of testing to be done before he has an official diagnosis). As a parent you know that if you suspect something you are the first to start researching and gathering as much information as you can.... and people many well meaning people will always have an opinion or say something really stupid and ignorant.... but you have to get past that and equip yourself with reliable sources for knowledge. I have to tell you since it has been suggested that autism may be the issue, light bulbs have been going on everywhere. But for a time I find myself angry. Angry at the things that have been said about M and to M by children and adults alike, even in my own family and church family. Angry at the judgement towards our parenting because of such great ignorance. I digress to go any furthur. M is an incredibly sweet boy and he is full of reckless abandon and he will do great things! He is extremely intelligent for his age. He feels emotion with great intensity and is majorly misunderstood in social circles. He desires to be included with friends just like everyone else but finds social situations difficult. He is highly energetic and loves sports. He is surprisingly gentle towards animals.... I could go on. At the moment we mostly relieved that we are getting explanations and answers in order to get M the help he needs, especially in the public school system. I am tired and may continue this post at a later date :-)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 8:54 PM , 1 Comment